Division of resources clarifiedQueen Elizabeth opens St Fergus

King Olav inaugurates Frigg

person by Trude Meland, Norwegian Petroleum Museum
HM King Olav V of Norway undertook the official inauguration of the Frigg field on 8 May 1978. Arriving by helicopter, he was greeted by representatives of the UK government and the Frigg group, headed by Elf Aquitaine.
— King Olav V in conversation with Arnulf Tjugen. Photo from the helicopter deck at Frigg QP in connection with the official opening in 1978. Photo: TotalFinaElf/Norwegian Petroleum Museum
© Norsk Oljemuseum

The king unveiled a carving of the goddess Frigg on the quarters platform. This piece was the work of Stavanger artist Hugo Frank Watne. Norse mythology made Frigg the most powerful goddess in Asgard, home of the gods. The wife of chief god Odin, she was the goddess of love and fate, and governed marriage and fertility.

A total of 48 guests attended the inauguration, including petroleum and energy minister Bjartmar Gjerde, Elf Aquitaine chief executive Albin Chalandon, and Lord Kirkhill, minister of state at the Scottish Office. Others present included the chairmen and executive management of the oil companies and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Storting (parliament) president Guttorm Hansen and the British and French ambassadors to Norway. During the three-hour visit, time was also allocated to a tour and lunch in the canteen. All these activities took place on the UK side of Frigg.

After the offshore ceremony, a dinner was held the Stavanger’s Atlantic Hotel. In his speech of thanks, King Olav admitted that he had left his kingdom to open a Norwegian-British gas field and asked Queen Elizabeth to forgive him. He highlighted in his speech that this was the first gas field to be inaugurated so far from land and that Frigg created a precedent for future cooperation and peaceful solutions between two nations.

Queen Elizabeth II of England was unable to be present at the Frigg inauguration. Instead, she attended the opening of the receiving terminal for Frigg gas at St Fergus in Scotland.

Division of resources clarifiedQueen Elizabeth opens St Fergus
Published April 3, 2018   •   Updated September 5, 2022
© Norsk Oljemuseum
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